Leung Chun Ying

March 25, 2012 by staff 

Leung Chun Ying, Hong Kong’s elite have elected a former government cabinet member as the southern Chinese financial hub’s next leader after a bitter race that highlighted public discontent.

Leung Chun-ying secured 689 votes from a 1,200-seat committee of business leaders and other elites to be declared chief executive of the semi-autonomous territory.

Leung bowed deeply three times to election committee members and others watching the vote after his victory was confirmed.

Henry Tang, who was seen early on as Beijing’s choice before a string of gaffes and scandals, received 285 votes. The pro-democracy candidate Albert Ho got 76 votes.

Several hundred pro-democracy protesters gathered outside the polling station but were prevented from entering by police officers manning barricades.

Many committee members were expected to vote according to the wishes of China’s leaders. Leung’s victory reflects Beijing’s efforts in recent days to quietly signal that it was backing off from initial support of the deeply unpopular Tang.

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